City of Piedmont seeks to get its stray animals under control
by Laura Gaddy
lbgaddy@annistonstar.com
Aug 21, 2013 | 3467 views |  0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PIEDMONT — Tuesday the City of Piedmont began rebuilding an animal control program that was dissolved about a year ago.

The City Council is seeking an animal control officer and Tuesday approved a resolution to contract with the Etowah County Animal Shelter to keep stray animals.

“This will be something completely different than what we have done in the past,” Piedmont Police Chief Steven Tidwell said.

Last year Piedmont hired the Calhoun County Animal Control Center to collect, keep and terminate unclaimed animals. That contract ended, however, when residents began telling council members the center wasn’t getting the job done.

“I think some of them felt we needed a change,” Councilman Bill Baker said.

Residents complained that too many dogs remained on city streets while the center was managing animal control for Piedmont and council members echoed their sentiments in meetings.

The city will begin interviewing six job candidates for an animal control position Monday. Baker said the city will decide how much it will pay the officer after it hires someone to do the work.

“I think it will depend on experience,” Baker said.

The city will pay the Etowah shelter $30 per animal to house strays.

One resident at the Tuesday meeting was glad the city is moving forward with the new plan to hire an animal control officer. “The more they can do themselves, I think is better,” said Vicky Jackson. “I think everything should be local.”

Another, however, said he thought the council should have waited before it approved the contract with the Etowah County shelter.

Billy Morgan said he thought the city should have been able to answer more questions about the plan before council members approved the resolution. Council members passed the measure despite unanswered questions about the plan, including how much money the new animal control officer will be paid.

“Don’t pass a resolution unless you have it in order,” Morgan said.

Council members said Tuesday that they too still have questions about how the plan will be conducted, but they still felt it was time to move forward with the new plan.

“I think we need to go ahead and see how this comes out,” said Councilman Ben Keller.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LGaddy_Star.
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